“You must have long-term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures.” Charles C. Noble
Like it or not, there are times when failure and frustration are part of life. We get angry, hurt and sometimes we even want to throw things. The problem with becoming self-absorbed at those times is, that we forget the goodness of God and think, “I don’t deserve this; somebody’s got to pay!” Consider the insight of James:
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:1-3)
Call it what you will (spiritual amnesia?) God calls it sin. Thankfully, the painful consequences have been paid for those who trust in the blood payment of His Son. That is why Charles Noble’s assertion that we should have “long-term” (what I call lifetime goals) as well as goals for the short-term is wise. As we make our lifetime goal to remember and honor Jesus’ gift exchange of His life for our own, our other goals (be they failures or successes) will align with our primary goal of living life in faith.
The key to living life well before God depends not on our circumstances, but on making choices that reflect our commitment to honor Him. It was Jesus who clearly set the practical mandate for the lifetime goals of His followers in Matthew 6:33,
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
The means of achieving our goals despite trouble, hardship and loss is rooted in giving thanks to Him for each and every day. It is as we prioritize His kingdom and His righteousness that His peace and mercy are worked out in our daily lives. Paul wrote a note to encourage his friends at Thessalonica with these words:
“Be joyful always;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Do you know what you want out of life? Are you frustrated and discouraged because you cannot get what you want, no matter how hard you try? Life can be a battle and sometimes it doesn’t make lot of sense. Goals can help us focus and give us direction. Just remember: The key to success in God’s eyes is in our offering of humility and thanksgiving to Him.
All to His Glory!